Every weekend, Gamasutra is featuring sharp editorials and feature stories from their correspondents, and this piece from Game Set Watch columnist Chris Dahlen deals with sexuality and Mass Effect:
"Let me also add that the NPCs in this game are a major step back for BioWare. They never talk with you in the field, aside from a couple generic lines about how 'This building is very cold' or 'This planet is very hot.' The extended get-to-know-you conversations I'm used to never happen. And as for flirting? Back in the day, when an NPC had a thing for you, they were subtle about it. A hint here, a jealous comment there, a few tests to make sure you would do nothing but agree with their every suggestion – and whammo, the screen went black and you got lucky.
But Mass Effect doesn't have time for that. Your romance options basically hand themselves up on a platter: the first time you get to talking with them, they start dribbling about how impressive and intriguing you are and, hey, space is lonely and sometimes it's fun to share a bunk. In fact, they don't even say anything that romantic. They basically just say, 'Keep talking to me and someday we'll have that sex scene you saw on YouTube.'"